Another defendant sentenced to prison as the result of large-scale drug trafficking investigation

Updated 23 weeks ago From a Release by U.S. Attorney's Office for Southern District of WV

CHARLESTON, W.Va. – A St. Albans man was sentenced  to four years in federal prison for a drug crime, announced United States Attorney Carol Casto. Harold Lee Parsons III, 40, previously pleaded guilty to possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine.

On February 5, 2016, law enforcement executed a search warrant at Parsons’ residence on 2nd Avenue in St. Albans. Parsons was present in his residence during the search and he opened a safe for law enforcement. Inside the safe were 12 baggies containing approximately 330 grams of methamphetamine. Parsons further admitted that he received the drugs from Joseph Cooper, a codefendant, and that he intended to distribute the methamphetamine.

As the result of a comprehensive drug investigation conducted by agents from the United States Postal Inspection Service, the Metropolitan Drug Enforcement Network Team, and Homeland Security Investigations, several defendants have been sentenced to federal prison. Cooper was sentenced to 14 years in federal prison for possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine. Benjamin Childers, another individual involved with the transport of methamphetamine in this drug trafficking organization, was sentenced to 10 years and a month in prison for conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine. Mark Cobb was sentenced to seven years in prison for conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine. Shayne Shamblen was also sentenced to seven years in prison for conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine. Mark Bays was sentenced to five years in prison for maintaining a residence for the purpose of distributing methamphetamine.

Several other individuals involved in the drug trafficking organization have entered guilty pleas and are awaiting sentencing. Morgan Light previously pleaded guilty to conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine and faces up to 20 years in federal prison when she is sentenced tomorrow. Jon Bowman previously pleaded guilty to using the mail to facilitate a drug crime and faces up to five years in prison when he is sentenced on June 14, 2017. David Huffman pleaded guilty to conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine and faces at least five and up to 40 years in prison when he is sentenced on June 21, 2017.

Gregory Crum and Diana Salazar Gamboa both pleaded guilty to conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine. Crum faces a minimum of 10 years and up to life in federal prison. Gamboa faces at least five and up to 40 years in federal prison. Beth Hammonds pleaded guilty to using the mail to facilitate a drug crime and faces up to five years in federal prison for her role in the conspiracy. Crum, Gamboa, and Hammonds are all scheduled to be sentenced on August 3, 2017.

Assistant United States Attorney Haley Bunn is responsible for these prosecutions. United States District Judge John T. Copenhaver, Jr., is presiding over these cases.

These prosecutions are part of an ongoing effort led by the United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of West Virginia to combat the illicit sale and misuse of illegal drugs, including methamphetamine. The U.S. Attorney’s Office, joined by federal, state and local law enforcement agencies, is committed to aggressively pursuing and shutting down pill trafficking, eliminating open air drug markets, and curtailing the spread of illegal drugs in communities across the Southern District.

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